Marija Leiko

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Marija Leiko

Marija Leiko (also known as Marija Leyko; 14 August 1887, Riga, Latvia – 3 February 1938, Moscow, USSR) was a Latvian silent movie actress in Europe since the 1910s, especially popular in Latvia, Germany[1] and Russia.

Life and film career[edit]

Leiko conquered the German big screen first, starring in the Die Diamantenstiftung (1917), Kain (1918), Ewiger Strom (1919), Die Frau im Käfig (1919) and Lola Montez (1919) as the dancer.[citation needed]

When the silent movie era ended Leiko retired from film acting. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, she returned to her native Latvia. In 1935 she visited the Soviet Union and stayed to join the company of the Latvian State Theatre in Moscow.[citation needed]

This theatre was shut down during Stalin's purges, and on 15 December 1937, Leiko was arrested on false charges of belonging to a "Latvian nationalist conspiracy". On 3 February 1938 she was shot and buried in a mass grave at the secret NKVD killing field at Butovo, near Moscow. She was 50 years old. She was "posthumously rehabilitated in [the] absence of a crime" in 1958.[citation needed]


  1. Die Räuberbande (1928)
  2. * The Green Alley (1928) playing Katherina Rezek
  1. Aufstieg der kleinen Lilian (1925)
  2. Dr. Wislizenus (1924)
  1. Der Frauenkönig (1923)
  2. Die Schneiderkomteß (1922) playing the young Comtesse
  3. Kinder der Finsternis - 2. Kämpfende Welten (1922) playing Maria Geon
  4. Versunkene Welten (1922)
  5. Kinder der Finsternis - 1. Der Mann aus Neapel (1921) playing Maria Geone
  6. Die Frau von morgen (1921)
  • The Rats (1921) playing Pauline Piperkarcka
  1. The Fear of Women (1921) playing Reederstochter
  2. Am Webstuhl der Zeit (1921) (as Marija Leyko) playing Ruth Einser, Hansen's assistant
  3. Das Opfer der Ellen Larsen (1921)
  4. Brandherd (aka Verlogene Moral. English release title Torgus) (1921) playing Anna
  5. Die Rote Redoute (1921)
  6. Die Kwannon von Okadera (1920) playing Ingele von Geortz
  7. Ewiger Strom (1920) playing Marija
  8. Satanas (English release tite: Satan) (1920) playing Irene
  9. Die Frau im Käfig (1919)
  10. Freie Liebe (1919)
  11. Lola Montez (aka aka Am Hofe Ludwigs I. von Bayern) (1919)
  12. Das Frühlingslied (1918)
  13. Die Diamantenstiftung (1917)


  1. ^ Marija Leiko profile Archived 2007-11-23 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed 10 February 2016.


  • Guna Zeltina, Anita Uzulniece Russian: Мария Лейко : Актриса театра и кино, 1887-1937 Language: Latvian Riga Liesma 155 pages (Illustrated) January 1989 ISBN 5-410-00276-8 ISBN 9785410002769

External links[edit]